Tis the season to be cooking…

Confession: I have way more cookbooks than I need.

What can I say? I have gotten rid of many, and still have 15 of them.

There are those I use frequently, the old standbys–and there are those I hardly look at. Several from dear friends. Multiple church cookbooks, special for regional flavor. Some with beautiful full-color photos on every page, fun to browse. Some full of typos, quaint phrasing, and lame poetry.

Here are five of my favorites, and why I like them:

[amazon_link id=”0836136977″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mennonite Country-Style Recipes and Kitchen Secrets[/amazon_link]

Esther H. Shank

  • My go-to book always
  • Simple ingredients
  • Perfect layout—attention to detail, easy to read and follow
  • Covers the full gamut of kitchen experience—a recipe for everything
  • Additional cooking, cleaning, and canning tips

[amazon_link id=”156148685X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook: feasting with your slow cooker[/amazon_link]

Dawn J. Ranck & Phyllis Pellman Good

  • How to make anything and everything via crock pot
  • Indexed by ingredient—easy to use what you have on hand



[amazon_link id=”B005FAG81K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Practical Produce Cookbook[/amazon_link]

Ray & Elsie Hoover

  • Contains a wealth of information on garden produce, organized by vegetable
  • Detailed specs on how to grow it, eat it, cook it, preserve it, store it—a superbly helpful summertime guide
  • Includes creatively non-traditional recipes as well as the old standbys.

[amazon_link id=”014311817X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Jan Karon’s Mitford Cookbook & Kitchen Reader[/amazon_link]

Jan Karon & Martha McIntosh

  • An all-around fun book to display in your kitchen
  • Contains snippets from the Mitford series, and recipes for foods mentioned in the books
  • Not a go-to book, more the kind you’d curl up with on a chilly day
  • Recipes for good old Southern cooking—coconut cake, chicken and dumplings, summer squash casserole, deep-dish apple pie.

[amazon_link id=”B000J289M0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mennonite Community Cookbook[/amazon_link]

  • An oldie goldie, compiled from Mennonite communities all over the United States and Canada by EMU graduate Mary Emma Showalter.
  • For me, this is a book rich with legacy and history. Contains old recipes such as Apple Grunt, Hasty Pudding, and Pickled Pigs Feet, and stories about “how Grandmother did it in her day.”
  • Again, more to treasure than to go-to, though it contains a few must-have recipes like Corn Fritters and Barbecued Hamburger.

I still want to find a really good kids’ cookbook. Any suggestions? I have one from Betty Crocker en route.

What other cookbooks do you like?


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Mom Coblentz
11 years ago

Have you forgotten the one you used as a kid? Betty Crocker’s Cook Book for Boys and Girls. I guess it’s up for grabs…depends on who grabs fastest…you or your sister. 🙂

11 years ago
Reply to  Mom Coblentz

Hah! That’s very funny! Guess who’s gonna be fighting at Thanksgiving…

11 years ago

Basics & More. Sorta fills in the gaps of Esther Shank’s and Mennonite Community for me. And sometime I want the Farmhouse cookbook, to fill yet a couple more holes. 🙂 An uncle’s wife recommended E Shank’s for children when we were young-it’s broken nicely into sections, with instructions for each…

11 years ago

Esther Shank’s is my all time favorite, too!

11 years ago

Basics and More, Pioneer Woman

11 years ago

I like Pioneer Woman’s cookbooks because they have great photography and the recipes are good and pretty easy. Funny you posted this because last night I went through and weeded a lot of my cookbooks. I just don’t have the room, but I still seem to have plenty. I like cookbooks that are unique in some way, like really old, or cultural, or like our church cookbook just full of everybody’s favorites.

11 years ago

I love the Mennonite Community Cookbook. I have my grandma’s copy. The Farmhouse cookbook is on my mental wishlist too. My mom had Basics and More, and that’s a great one.

11 years ago

I had a neat little sticky note with instructions how to make mac-n-cheese. It worked great. I liked it so well I kissed the author when she came home.

Mama Zook
11 years ago
Reply to  The Boss

I’m glad to hear that you are using your culinary expertise!! And a kiss is great payment!

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